Knesset advances bill to limit Supreme Court petitions by Palestinians

A Knesset committee approved a bill that, if passed, would force Palestinians without Israeli citizenship to petition the Jerusalem District Court before appealing to the Supreme Court. 

By: World Israel News Staff 

A bill that would force Palestinians without Israeli citizenship to petition the Jerusalem District Court before appealing to the Supreme Court was approved by the Knesset’s Constitution, Law and Justice Committee on Sunday.

The purpose of the legislation is to ease the Supreme Court’s caseload. Though Palestinians do not have Israeli citizenship, they have legal recourse via the Supreme Court. The current legislation would provide them with recourse first via the Jerusalem District Court and only afterward via the Supreme Court.

The legislation can now be presented to the Knesset for a final vote

Palestinian petitions dealing with restraining orders, requests to enter Israel, construction in Judea and Samaria and freedom of information will first be heard by the Jerusalem District Court. The legislation will also require Palestinians to provide more evidence for their petitions due to the more exact legal process followed by the district court.

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked said that the Supreme Court is forced to deal with about 2,000 petitions annually.

“This is a turning point in the normalization of life in Judea and Samaria and a significant move toward lowering the Supreme Court’s caseload,” Shaked said.

Shaked appointed Chaya Zandberg to head the Jerusalem District Court, which will be empowered to deal with administrative matters in Judea and Samaria.

Zandberg is also working on legislation to enable legalization of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.